Letter to the editor: fix DWP

aqueductIt is a new century between us, the Owens Valley and Los Angeles. How shall we proceed? Mayor, Eric Garcetti is calling on Los Angeles residents to sign a pledges to fix both the LA River (http://www.lamayor.org/restore_the_la_river) and the DWP (http://www.lamayor.org/fix_dwp), he is also asking residents to submit suggestions about what needs to be done in their neighborhoods. I am sure that those of us in the Owens Valley can give him good many suggestions about what needs to be done in our neighborhoods and sign on to both pledges. I have signed both petitions and have offered comments on how the Mayor can assist our communities here in the Owens Valley. I am sure that my friends in living in the Owens Valley have many suggestions as well. And I am looking forward to working with Marcie Edwards, her experience is quite impressive.

One of the ways to fix the DWP is to have the DWP uphold and implement the Van Norman Enhancement/Mitigation agreements as well as the other 55 mitigation agreements still outstanding with Inyo County. Especially this, the Lone Pine High School Farm project. What is so difficult about a mere 30 acre feet of water? This .008 % of what LA residents (not including commercial) purchased in 2010-11 per the DWP’s Website’s Facts and Figures page (https://www.ladwp.com/ladwp/faces/ladwp/aboutus/a-water/a-w-factandfigures?_adf.ctrl-state=1t88m4iju_4&_afrLoop=62831165023525). As we in the Owens Valley have had to learn how to live within our water means, I’m sure we can teach LA residents how to do likewise.

This high school plan is a wonderful idea that should have been producing results for the last decade and a half. And as we go into a period of climate change that none of us can predict exactly what will happen, we all very much need to focus on local agriculture. This is one project that should be implemented immediately. We need these youngsters to learn how to produce food for the future.

Also I learn from the Sacramento Bee that the DWP owns many buildings in Independence and that they are letting them rot due to alleged budget constraints (http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/05/6046630/outrage-in-owens-valley.html). I just don’t understand how letting our towns disintegrate makes any more water or it cheaper for LADWP ratepayers? Can someone please explain that to me?

Treating the Owens Valley correctly is what is needed. No one in any of the Sci-Fi I read gives LA very good press—this is your time to turn that around. LA you can be Heros. Let’s talk how.

The SweetHeartoftheValley
Yaney LA MacIver
Pi in the Sky Ranch, Dimple Hill, Corvallis OR



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7 years ago

I got a water conversion table from the internet it gives figures of water usage for 1 day for domestic use, stockwater, crop spraying, and other types of usage including hotels, parks, restaurants etc.,etc. and swimmg pools which is 10 gallons per swimmer. This said 1 acre foot of water is 324,851 gallons so 30 acre feet would be 9775530 gallons. One pool with two swimmers is about 7300 gallons for 1 year that comes out roughly to be 1350 swimming pools would be equal to 30 acre feet. My question for DWP is how many pools are there in the City of Los Angeles using Owens Valley water and why?

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
7 years ago
Reply to  Daris

Agriculture is the biggest user. (citation; internet source and Desert Tortoise)
That said…
A typical LA area lawn uses 30 gal per square foot per year, that is 30,000 gallons for a typical 1000 square foot lawn.That is only 325 lawns to reach 30 acre feet.
How many people in LA have lawns compared to pools? What about the 100 square mile natural pool called Owens Lake that is dry because of these suburban pools and lawns?
If the water savings had started earlier there would still be surplus in the OV to handle the shortage for the time being.
Brace yourself for brown tap water.
Consider buying stock in de-sal, sustainable farming, and filtration tech.
We probably wont fix the problem, we’ll just postpone it.

7 years ago

I’m not sure you can fix DWP without first fixing Los Angeles, which is a civilization that owes its very existence to its willingness to devastate the environments of other regions and communities, having paved over its own. It is little wonder that the rulers of L.A. and the DWP and the people who live there are unwilling to recognize the immorality that is the foundation of their existence. This denialism is probably human nature, no person or people want to believe that their lifestyles are an affront to basic notions of ethics and decency.

Thus we see the false equivalency of the use of water at its source and the use of water far away, between water used by communities that live within the constraints of their environment and communities that long ago destroyed their own environment and survive by ravaging the environment of others. Water used in its own watershed does little to harm the local area, and water used at its headwaters flows downstream to create benefit for others. Water ripped away from its watershed does great damage to the ecosystem, for the benefit of the recipient.

It is incumbent on those who benefit from this damage to minimize the harm they do, but they must first fight past their denial and recognize their basic ethical obligations to treat this resource as the great and valuable gift it is. What ethical basis exists for destroying an ecosystem far away to create lawns and forests in a dry land where such would never naturally exist? How can a people justify row upon row of evaporative swimming pools, filled with water that is diverted from a natural desert lake? Why is the need for shiny clean BMWs, Mercedes and Priuses more important that a natural desert spring and the ecosystem it could support?

That answer that is so obvious to those of us who live at the source is blocked from the collective consciousnesses of the Angelinos and their apologists, some of whom make appearances on this blog. If they could be brought to recognize the rot at the core of their civilization, they might be willing to make the changes that decency demands. They might be willing to trade a few swimming pools or acres of lawn to allow a group of kids in a farming community to learn their craft. We have a long way to go.

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
7 years ago
Reply to  MajorTom

So very well said. Thank you,